I didn't do anything particularly different this time around. I got 10 hours of sleep on Thursday night and about 7 hours on Friday night. Otherwise, I tried to eat all day on Friday and take in both carbs and protein!
My alarm went off at 3:40AM and I wasn't that excited. I knew I had a 20 miler on my plate and to be honest, I was kind of blah about it. The truth is, I can never let my mind think about what it is getting ready to do. I don't really think of it as a 20 miler. I usually break down the run into 2 or 3 smaller runs (back to back of course). I don't know if that makes a lot of sense, but mentally, it works for me.
We started at Ballast Point and ran the 5.5 miles to the beginning of the shark loop. The group that I run with is a little faster than me. I knew they'd be doing their own thing once we got to the shark loop but I just kind of stayed with them initially. Once the loop started, Nicole and I met up with Beth and Angela and just started running our own pace. Beth mentioned that she wanted to average between 8:20-8:30 for her 20 miler and I kind of laughed. I even told her that she may need to run ahead and that I'd be ecstatic to maintain what we were doing and average sub 8:40.
Regardless, we maintained and even started picking up the pace after a few miles. I kept feeling better and better. My left calf was super sore at the beginning of the run (this has been the story of my life for the past couple of months) but after 2-3 miles, it was fine.
After the shark loop, I decided to throw in my ipod and just run! The music helped tremendously! I haven't run with music in probably three months. I only had about 5.5 miles left and I just started running. I noticed that my pace kept dipping into the 7:5x range but I tried not to let it scare me. I decided to just go for it and if I crashed and burned ... oh well! At least I knew. I didn't want to finish the run feeling like I could have run faster. No worries there though, I finished the run completely exhausted and spent! That feeling, though = the most amazing feeling ever!!
20 miles in 2:47:53
I don't know that I'll ever get tired of typing/reading all of those splits. Average pace was 8:24. The average pace for the last 10 miles .... 8:12!!!
Two more weeks of training and then it's taper time!